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LGBTQ History

Various figures from LGBTQ history against rainbow background

Positively representing LGBTQ topics in the history curriculum improves student experiences.

For all of us, learning an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum can help us better understand our world and our differences. For LGBTQ students in particular, it can mean feeling safer at school and hearing homophobic and transphobic remarks less frequently, according to GLSEN research. That's why we're sharing the resources below, from an interactive timeline and coloring book to many other classroom resources. 

Recognizing these benefits, former GLSEN Chapter leader Rodney Wilson, with the support of GLSEN's founder Kevin Jennings and many others, founded LGBTQ History Month in October 1994. While you can use these resources every October, they're perfect for use all year, so that students see the benefits year round.

A great resource you can use to learn and teach about LGBTQ history is Making Gay History, the critically acclaimed and award-winning podcast that brings LGBTQ history to life through the voices of the people who lived it. Listen to the podcasts below to hear about the lives and legacies of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who were participants in the New York Stonewall riots in 1969.

Use this interactive timeline to bring LGBTQ history to your school, and use this timeline resource for a lesson or GSA activity! Want random LGBTQ historical facts from the timeline to include in class? Text HISTORY to 21333!

Cover of LGBTQ History Coloring Book featuring various LGBTQ icons

A perfect activity for elementary school students and adults alike, this coloring book features leaders and groundbreaking events in American history that highlight people with LGBTQ identities.

Download the full coloring book in color or black and white. These LGBTQ leaders and events are featured in the book:

  • We'Wha
  • Bayard Rustin
  • Compton Cafeteria Riots
  • Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera
  • Marriage Equality and Edie Windsor
  • Laverne Cox

Purchase hard copies in bulk for your classroom!


A photo of National Student Council Member Ezra

These LGBTQ students shared their stories about how their identities are affected and represented historically.

Screenshot of Harvey Milk Brainpop resource

One LGBTQ icon to include in class is Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the history of California. Sign up to gain free access to a short animated film about his life and other educational resources, offered by our partner BrainPOP.